Taking Action

Marcia J. Weiss encourages NA’AMAT USA members to use their voice to promote social change.

In the current issue of NA’AMAT WOMAN, Marcia J. Weiss, J.D., NA’AMAT USA’s vice president of program and education, writes about the issue of campus sexual assault. She cites some alarming statistics: nearly 1 in 5 women are victims of sexual assault during their college years, yet less than 5 percent of rapes and attempted rapes are reported either to college authorities or law enforcement.
Rape on campus is not a new problem, but it has recently been gaining more attention because courageous young women are increasingly speaking out. “In my day, you didn’t do anything like that,” says Weiss. “No one talked about it.”

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Weiss notes that a bill called The Campus Accountability and Safety Act (CASA) is currently making its way through Congress. Among other things, it would require colleges and university to have trained advisors in place to assist victims. She encourages NA’AMAT members to “take action” by contacting their representatives and expressing their support for the legislation.

Activism in behalf of social and political issues that affect women, children and families is central to NA’AMAT’s mission. In her Take Action! column in NA’AMAT WOMAN Weiss has examined such subjects as sex trafficking, bullying, labor protection for homecare workers and abortion, and offered practical advice on how NA’AMAT members can get involved and help bring about change.

NA’AMAT USA members can play a crucial role in continued social progress. “Our voices are powerful,” says Weiss. “After the Hobby Lobby decision last year, we sent a petition to the White House to express our outrage. We made our views known. It is important to let the powers-at-be know that we are here and what we stand for.”